New Owner of an Alumacraft 1954 Model E

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Apr 6, 2024
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Leoma, TN
I just last night bought an Alumacraft 1954 Model E (12') with trailer and a 1957 FD-11 18 hp Sea Horse on it. The engine has not been started in almost two years but was used fairly regularly prior to that. I'll probably get the Johnson running and either buy a bigger boat for it to go on or sell it. This little E had to be a wild ride with that motor on it.

The boat is reasonably smooth with a few dents that can be easily dollied to remove them. The whole boat, inside, outside, and seats has been blasted with some pretty coarse abrasive. I'm hoping that they didn't remove much material as the E hull material is thinner from the factory than an A, F, or most other Alumacrafts.

The collector value was ruined by a past owner who cut off the original knee brace and added two fairly well engineered and built braces to each side of what's left of the original knee brace. They even used aluminum rivets to fasten the knee braces to the floor.

The part of the original knee brace that was cut off contained the serial number. Crap. I learned it is a '54 model due to registration paperwork that the previous owner's widow had saved when he originally applied for state registration. Even that may not be the exact year model but should be close. Besides, that'll work fine for registration in Tennessee where I live on a pre-'71 boat with no factory issued HIN.

I guess they decided to strengthen the transom so that the 18 hp Johnson could be used since Alumacraft rated the E model for a  max 12 hp motor. When that work was done they also added some new transom wood, larger than the original, but at least did a pretty good job of it. The finish on the wood is beginning to come off (spar varnish?) but that should be an easy fix.

I hope to be able to polish, or at least smooth, some of the exterior surfaces so they look original, which I think was a satin finish (?). I'm not sure what compound to use with a buffer to do that. I considered a DA sander but didn't want to remove any more metal than the blasting has already removed. Any ideas?

Does anyone know what coating could be used inside on the floor that would be like the original "non-skid" coating? Since it is media blasted already it would be a good time to coat it.

It has a small place in the curve of the lower bow that looks like water may have gotten it and frozen. I may have to add some marine silicone unless someone knows a better fix.


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Congrats on the new boat. You may be right about why they added the two braces. But then I wonder why they didn't just leave the center knee brace. Maybe someone felt it was easier to cut it off, put in the new transom then add the two new braces. Who knows.

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